A group of teen vandals has ‘fessed up to damaging a 1,300 year old fortress in Ashdod, and has promised to clean it up. The youths said that they did not mean any harm, and were unaware of the historical significance of the site when they drew pictures on the walls of the structure for a party they were planning to hold there.
The damage was discovered Sunday, when national park workers came back to work at the Ashdod Sea complex, considered one of the biggest and most ancient archaeological sites in Israel. Among the finds at Ashdod-Yam – a site that many archaeologists believe was part of the ancient city of Ashdod – is a Hellenstic-period synagogue, a Crusader-era fort, and various other structures from various historical periods. The area that was vandalized was part of the Crusader-era structure.
Authorities quickly tracked down the group that committed the vandalism after they posted images of the walls on social media. When it became known that authorities were looking for them, the youths contacted police and confessed to what they had done, promising to clean things up.
The Antiquities Authority has been in touch with the youths’ schools, and plans to conduct seminars in their schools on the importance of preserving archaeological sites.